The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal shooting Saturday night which left one man dead and his tenant under investigation.
Deputies were dispatched to 205 Gin House Lake Road, in the Munford area, at approximately 9:53 p.m. after it was reported Donald Ray Jones had shot Joseph Benjamin “Joey” Guy, the owner of the house in which he was living.
Joey, 48, a father of four, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The sheriff’s office is calling the incident a home invasion resulting in a homicide.
“A home invasion (or an aggravated burglary/burglary of a dwelling) occurs when a defendant unlawfully enters or remains in a habitation with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside,” Sheriff J.T. “Pancho” Chumley said in a press release.
Both families have commented publicly about the shooting, which is unusual, and are debating the incident publicly.
The sheriff’s office called Don a tenant because he lived in the weathered blue home Joey owned at the end of Gin House Lake Road, across from his own home, but there were conflicting reports from friends and family members on the agency’s public Facebook post.
Some said Joey allowed Don to live in the home and make repairs. Some said Don was making repairs and moved in when Joey was out of state. Wayne Guy, Joey’s brother, said Don was trespassing.
It was a subject the men had reportedly argued about prior to Saturday.
Detectives confirmed there was an ongoing civil dispute between Don and Joey, who lived in the house next door. Donnie Jones, who lived at the house with his father, reported on the sheriff’s Facebook post that deputies had been called several times and “were at the house where we had legal residence multiple times this week.”
“The sheriff told us, and Joey, that we had legal rights to be in that home. We were not trespassing on that property. The sheriffs were shown proof of what Joey and Don have agreed upon in regards to us living there,” Donnie commented. “Property was stolen out from our house on multiple occasions from Joey breaking and entering that house.”
Rebecca Byrd, who said she considered both Don and Joey her uncles, said “once Don began doing criminal activity he was asked to leave, then he became a squatter. But, initially no, Joey was helping out a buddy who felt entitled.”
A property owner cannot force a renter or tenant to leave the property except through legal means.
The two men had been friends for decades.
Joey was a Golden Gloves boxer in the 1990s who was remembered for being active in the community and helping people out. He worked at the family business, Guy’s Discount Plumbing, and was said to help elderly customers when they couldn’t afford it.
Warren Guy said his son was no angel, though, and shared “word was out” that Joey and Don traveled to Oklahoma to buy marijuana “and Don Jones beat Joey out of $5600.” Warren said his son was only getting the marijuana for a few friends and said they “were not big druggies like Don.”
What exactly happened remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office’s detectives, but there was a considerable amount of discussion Joey and Don’s families and friends.
What is known is that Joey entered the home he owned and was shot and killed by Don.
It was reported that on Saturday night there was no electricity at 205 Gin House Lake Road. Both homes sit under a canopy of trees at the end of a dead end road off of Beaver, between Walker Field Road and Melanie Lane. It was dark outside, and had been raining, when Joey went over to the house.
Amber Means, the mother of Joey’s youngest child, said she was talking to Joey the whole night and Joey was “completely unaware” anyone was at the home Don had been occupying.
“He did not kick any door in. He has the key,” she commented. “He was going to check damages left since they were supposedly gone.”
She accused Don of lying in wait and shooting Joey “in cold blood.”
It is not common to see victims’ families speak out against the agency investigating their loved ones’ homicides, especially so early into the investigation, but the Guy family seemed to insult the sheriff’s office’s process from investigation to notification.
“Don planned this out,” Wayne said. “If they would investigate longer than 4 hours and hear the evidence they will know this was pre-meditated murder.”
Donnie believes the shooting was done in self-defense.
The sheriff’s office has not released many details of the shooting and Don has not been charged. After the preliminary press release early Sunday morning they did something rare and released an update to clarify rumors 13 hours later.
Joey’s mother, Terri, said publicly the family was still awaiting notification from the sheriff’s office and she found out about her son’s death through Facebook.
According to the sheriff’s office, Warren was notified at the scene at approximately 11:25 p.m., four hours prior to the release of information, with a follow-up at 3:45 a.m.
TCSO wants to stress to the public that the investigation is still in its preliminary phases, that it will take time to piece together evidence and interview witnesses.
“We would like to remind everyone that this investigation is very active, evolving and ongoing,” the agency said. “This can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. Some forensic evidence takes weeks, if not months, to process and receive results.”
Once they believe they have all of the evidence collected, they will present the case to the district attorney general for his review. It is up to the DA’s office whether or not any charges will be filed and/or their office presents the case before the Tipton County Grand Jury.
Until then, they’d like it if the case was not tried in the court of public opinion. The family repeatedly commented about waiting for judgment until the facts were all known as well.
“Our family is asking for prayers,” Wayne said.
“This incident, as those similar to it do, has garnered much attention from the community and has stirred emotions of those on all sides and of all opinions,” they said. “What we will do to the best of our ability is fulfill our duty in maintaining the integrity of the investigation and collecting all of the available facts, in order to complete and present a more thorough investigation to the district attorney’s office.”
Rebecca said Don killed one of his best friends and several families will have to live with the aftermath.
“They are all like family … Sad for Don’s kids. They are all like family. This affects alot of families and alot of people who were lucky to know Joey,” she said. “Sympathy to all involved.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-475-3300, Central Dispatch after hours at 901-475-4300, phone in tips at 901-475-3307, email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them in through the agency’s Facebook page, which is Sheriff J.T. Pancho Chumley. Anonymous tips may be submitted to the Tipton County tip411 app or by texting “Tipton” to 847411.